Growing up and studying in China, I got my first chance to go on exchange to Australia during my undergraduate years. The exchange was to the University of Queensland and it started the journey that brought me to Australian National University (ANU) for my PhD. By then I had already been introduced to the world of optics through undergraduate projects in optical coherence tomography, which brought together fibre optics and digital signal processing (DSP), the two key themes of my PhD.
My first exposure to gravitational waves (GW) and their detection was in my final undergraduate year when I did a project with the Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics at ANU. That work introduced me to coherent interferometry and how it can be applied more broadly outside of GW detection.
The research was challenging but ultimately rewarding and fun, so I decided to come back for more. I am now 2 years into my PhD, focussing on laser frequency metrology and developing stabilisation techniques using fibre optics and DSP algorithms. Over the past four years, I dived into the world of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) based programming, and I hope to extend my knowledge and experience further through the rest of my PhD and my future career.
Beyond the lab I enjoy spending my time outdoors. I’ve taken advantage of the many nice hikes in the Canberra area and beyond, and I hope to do more in the future. One of my favourite walks to date is the Grand Canyon track in the Blue Mountains. Alongside hiking, I enjoy landscape photography and occasionally portraits as well, but exclusively of cats, ducks and other wildlife.